Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 1 month ago

Healthy dinner for dementia patient?

My neighbour has dementia badly and her family doesn’t come around much. She has diabetes and absolutely loves sweets, she’s at the point where she forgets that she’s ate and will eat again immediately after. I try to come over daily to cook her something but recently she’s been rejecting the foods that I cook, foods that she previously loved. What are some easy foods I can make for her that is healthy? When I say easy, I mean not having to bake a lot or use the stove a lot. It’s hard to cook for her because she likes to try help and always turns off the oven or messes with the stove or puts extra pepper or salt in the foods so I try to us a maximum of 2 spots on the stove at a time and try not to make things that take long time in the oven. I watch her good while Imm cooking but theres still times she will sneak extra pepper in or sneak turning off the oven. 

I’m 18 and dont know many things to fix someone that only will eat sweet tasting things that are healthy + easy to cook. Does anyone know any recipes or have any advice on what to cook?

(Soon I will be having college break and will be home in the mornings to go fix her an actual breakfast so recipes and advice for that will help too!) thanks!

5 Answers

  • Janet
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You are her angel, even though she may not recognize it.

    Don't worry about what she will and won't eat. The human body will not allow itself to starve to death.

    Diabetic meals should involve:

    - Half the plate should be vegetables.  We are not including potatoes or corn as a vegetable because they are mostly starch.  Steamed, roasted (drizzled with olive oil), for fresh raw.  Frozen vegetables are very healthy alternatives to fresh vegetables.

    - One-quarter of the plate should be protein ... 3 ounces (84grams), roughly the size of the palm of your hand.  Chicken and fish are best, and salmon should be eaten 2 to 3 times a week, if possible.  Also legumes (black bean dishes, etc).  Even milk, eggs, cheese.

    - The other quarter of the plate should be some form of complex carbohydrates, equal in amount to the protein.  Including but not limited to:  whole wheat pasta, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread/rolls.  You can also use sweet potatoes for this. And OCCASIONALLY corn or potatoes in place of complex carbs.

    Sweets are horrible for those who have diabetes. Also, avoid fruit juice, since they are mostly sugar and there is no fiber in them. Take orange juice ... 1 glass has as much sugar as eating SIX oranges, and the pulp is not where the fiber is (it is in the membrane surrounding each segment, but that is removed in the juicing process),

    Sugars and refined/simple carbs (such as corn, potatoes, white pasta/bread) should always be accompanied with high-fiber foods, to slow down the absorption of the sugars/starches.

  • 1 month ago

    I am going to get a bit off your topic but this is important. 

    If your neighbor is living alone you should report the situation to Adult Protective Services. It is dangerous for someone with dementia to be living alone. 

    When is her best time of day?  Her best meal should be then. 

    Anything that she will eat is good  You can look up recipes and foods that she should be eating and what she should not be having with the diabetes. 

    Watch out for thin fluids, as her dementia gets worse she can choke on thinner fluids. So soups with a broth base, and anything that she drinks.  Eventually they will have to be thickened. 

    If she is alone, you should remove all the knobs from the stove so she can not turn it on. Put them where you can find them, but out of her reach, if she finds them she may put them some place "safe" and you will never find them. 

  • 1 month ago

    I found a couple of websites that may help you out, to know what would be good for someone with dementia. I will list them below. 

    I was also thinking that maybe it would be more beneficial if you were to make small meals at home that can be frozen and reheated so that you are not cooking them at her house. That way she can immediately eat, and you wouldn't need to be trying to cook around her. There are a lot of little things you can make that would be good for her, and would also give her needed nourishment. Older people cannot eat as much as they used to, so making a variety of smaller things for her may be the better way to go. I will try to find links to recipes for foods that are easy to make, freeze and reheat for you. And also, thank you for caring for someone who needs help. That isn't something seen often anymore.

    Foods good for dimentia patients:

    Make ahead meals:

    Protein muffins:

    Breakfast sandwiches:

    Youtube thumbnail

    Smoothies for diabetics:

    **I have a few links to breakfast items simply because they are easy, grab and go, can have many different ingredients added to make them even tastier and can be eaten any time of the day, and are also a good source of protein. 

    You could also make:

    simple veggie soup, stew or chili and freeze it into meal sized portions and microwave a portion for a meal

    scrambled eggs in the microwave

     homemade lunchables with sandwich meats, cheese and crackers

    loaded baked potatoes

    simple sandwiches like pbandj or ham and cheese and freeze a weeks worth of them

    grilled cheese sandwich with veggies added

    veggies and fruits with different dips

    Tuna or chicken salad on crackers.

    Smoothes. (She might like them where she is diabetic and craves sweets. Just be careful of how sweet you make them)

    I hope this helps you out some, keep checking Youtube, Pinterest and google and you should be able to come up with some good meals for her. Take care and blessings.

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If she has Dementia, she probably has a helper/handler. Best bet it to speak with them and base your decisions on their answers. 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You are a good person to go round and do this for your neighbour :)  How is she coping generally?  If you start to fear that she's becoming a danger to herself don'y hesitate to contact the council if family don't visit often enough to notice.  They're very stretched at the moment but might be able to offer an assement for support.

    Right, on to food.  Talk with your neighbour and find out what she grew up eating and use that as your starting point.  You might adjust these things toward healthier, but don't be surprised if you need to add a little more seasoning than you'd prefer as the tastebuds do dull in old age and your neighbour won't experience the food the same as you.  Try not to get too frustrated.  There are many careworkers in my extended family and I gather that many people with dementia find comfort in things that are embedded in their longterm memory and it's true that their tastes can revert a very long way back which is why nursing home food can seem so dull, even in well-funded homes, because that's the food residents will eat, even if a few years previously they had an adventerous palate.  Things like shepard's pie freezes well by the portion and you can smuggle vegetable in there, or mince and tatties are comforting foods, especially this time of year, but listen to what she tells you about her childhood and young adulthood meals.Unfortunately forgetting that they've eaten just after eating is not that uncommon, it's the flipside to forgetting to eat:(  You can't really control other than through distraction and you're not her fulltime carer so it's not really in your control.

    It's hard when someone you know well changes like this.  The way you communicate has to change too.  Try never to argue.  Deflection is the way to go.  You might find this helpful:

    Take care of yourself too.  It's easy to let a good deed take over your life, especially if it becomes a wat ro run away from your own anxieties about your life (starting college and such).  Careful you don't burn out  yourself.  Be ready if you need to to rope in adult social services and to make noiuse with your neighbour's family if/when it gets too much to handle.  You're a lovely person, take care.

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